Alaskan Leader solidifying US black cod market with restaurant, retail expansion

A processing line of Alaskan Leader black cod.

Edmonds, Washington, U.S.A.-based Alaskan Leader Seafoods is steadily building a domestic market for black cod, capitalizing on increased availability and more affordable prices for the premium fish while it introduces the product to retail stores and restaurants across the country.

The quota allowance for Alaskan black cod has been steadily on the rise since 2019 with a “very healthy biomass,” Alaskan Leader Vice President of Sales Scott Sandvig told SeafoodSource. In 2019, the total allowable catch was 26 million pounds, and since then has increased to 43 million pounds in 2021, 56 million pounds in 2022, and 62 million pounds in 2023.

This increased supply presented an opportunity to keep more of the region’s black cod in the domestic market, instead of mainly looking for overseas buyers, Alaskan Leader President of the Value-Added Division Keith Singleton told SeafoodSource.

“Traditionally, this fish is sold overseas. We thought this might be an opportune time to expand the domestic market,” he said.

In addition to taking advantage of favorable prices and availability, the company also started to gain recognition for the quality of its products, winning the Alaska Symphony of Seafoods People’s Choice Award in both Seattle, Washington, and Juneau, Alaska, in 2022 for black cod in miso sauce, Singleton said.

“We made the Nobu miso sauce recipe … and won the People’s Choice Award. Consumers and retailers began asking, ‘Why can’t you put the recipe on the fish in a vacuum-sealed pouch?” Singleton said. “[So] we started making bags and portions with the reference to the recipe on the back.”

This concoction of factors led Alaskan Leader to ...

Photo courtesy of Alaskan Leader Seafoods

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